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The Healthcare Providers-Patients Relationship and State Obligations in Times of Public Health Emergency

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image of African Journal of Legal Studies

The recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the West African sub-region sprung challenges on the healthcare providers in the observance of their ethical rules in dealing with their patients and the State in fulfilling its obligations to ensure that the rights of patients are respected in times of public health emergency. The ethical rules of medical practice demand that the healthcare providers prefer the interests of their patients to the preservation of self. The State is by law under obligation to protect and respect the rights of the patients in all situations. The paper argues that the responses by the healthcare providers and the States in the West African sub region in the wake of the public health emergency fell short of the demands of the ethical rules of the medical profession and the obligation to ensure that the rights of the patients are respected.

Affiliations: 1: School of Law, University of VendaSouth Africa ; 2: University of Venda ThohoyandouSouth Africa


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